How Builders & Developers Can Pivot and Prosper in these Pandemic Times

By May 12, 2020November 15th, 2022Blog
Hey it's Lisa

Behind the Creativity: Blog 17

Some people don’t like change. Change is how we grow. We learn to adapt and that brings resiliency. Be it business matters or anything in life…if left alone, things tend to stagnate, lose their momentum and falter. In response to this health crisis, there have already been interesting business changes eg. in cities like Manhattan, some restaurants have morphed into bougie-bodegas where they’ll start selling produce, basic pantry items to make up for a loss in dine-in capacity. Airlines are giving up the middle seat. Grocery stores have already adapted by introducing counter shields. Curb-side, pick-up was already a thing but now it’s THE THING. Many retail stores have since followed suit. Outside of healthcare facilities, face masks are becoming a fashion statement–no different than a scarf. Resale realtors are doing business differently, offering virtual tours of a home in lieu of an Open House. All this change…in a matter of weeks!


Most of the time, the future arrives surreptitiously, without much fanfare, there may be an ad or a press release about a ‘new and improved’ something or other and then the newness just gets woven into our daily day. Usually, evolution starts in businesses first and then trickles to consumerism. Things are different this time since the economy has come to a screeching halt.


Covid-19 may have been the catalyst that encouraged some new home builders to offer some semblance of virtual service: a video conference sales call, an online brochure, a video about the project, downloadable price lists. These are all great digital assets for virtual viewing…but, let’s face it, they don’t do much to accentuate the user’s experience—it’s not the same as if the homebuyer had visited and experienced the digital elements–at a sales centre.


On the other hand, digitally-forward-thinking home builders, who are decidedly more proactive and committed in their use of modern technology, have embraced the virtual sales centre software LiveSite™ and are now virtually experiencing business as usual. 


Interestingly, this new normal of builders wanting to offer their homebuyers a true, virtual experience…has actually just been a day-in-the-life, best-practise at NEEZO Studios. We didn’t expect a health crisis to give us such loud exposure. We understand that there are home buyers out there that still need to buy a home. It’s a nice feeling to know we’re helping new home builders continue to do business.


This pesky pandemic may have just made virtual sales centre software like LiveSite™ the prescriptive medicine for marketing and sales executives who want to secure the health of their spring and fall market. 


We’ve been educating the real estate marketing industry about all things virtual, on the daily. Sometimes prospective clients get it and adopt it right away. Other times they’re more passive and pass on the concept, thinking it’s not something their homebuyers will use. Or they think all this interactivity and virtual sales centre stuff is a fad.


Nope. It’s not a fad. Virtual sales centres are not going away. The COVID-19 quarantine may have highlighted a builder’s need for a virtual sales centre, but it’s hard to imagine not offering these conveniences to your audience in a post-COVID world. In fact, I’d argue what will go away…is having crowds of homebuyers congregating at a sales centre, waiting for hours to get in, just to obtain priority preview pricing…something that can easily be handled online. But I get it, they want the photo opp for social media buzz.


I’ve sat in meeting 20 and 10 years ago, where businesses and marketing executives pondered:
  • “Hmmm…do you think we should buy a website domain for our company?
  • “Do you think our audiences care if we’re on social media platforms.” 
  • “Should we explore CRM software to keep in touch with homebuyers for our site launches?”  
You get my point. These are all now…tools of the trade.


This is what evolution looks like. There will always be early adopters and late-to-the-party laggards who want to see how something is working for everyone else–before jumping in.
What makes LiveSite™ uber-exceptional is that it allows new home builders and developers to offer homebuyers the exact same user experience—as if the homebuyer had visited the sales centre. 


LiveSite™’s software application offers an omni-channel approach, providing the same look and feel across multiple platforms, accessible on: desktop, laptop, tablet, as well as on iOS and Android mobile devices.


10 Thoughtful Ways To Connect With Homebuyers–While Social Distancing


The road ahead may be bumpy but, we can’t go back to the way things were. Businesses will naturally want to take precautions, to minimize jeopardizing their way of doing business. Going forward, post-pandemic, there is an amazing opportunity to continue to promote your projects, while serving your homebuyers. While, I can’t speak for every industry, I understand real estate marketing and I can share a few recommendations for new home builders & developers:


  1. Continue to connect with your audience but pay attention to how they’d like that to be engaged with (gathering herds of people for a priority preview…those days are gone).
  2. Monitor your website and pay attention to where your traffic is coming from. What time of day are homebuyers visiting your sales site? Send out our eblasts around that time.
  3. Reveal pricing early. There’s no point nurturing an email campaign for months only to find out the homebuyer/subscriber can’t afford your starting price.
  4. Offer incentives to help instil confidence in their buying decision. Buyers are worried about losing their job (think about insurance program incentives that protects them against that). Introduce Rent To Own Programs. Offer special thank you incentives to frontline, healthcare workers.
  5. Start doing live-videos on social and webinar presentations.
  6. Don’t stop advertising. Just advertise smarter. You can promote your site on social media for free.
  7. Add a ‘book a virtual appointment’ button on your website’s contact section (next to all your social media icons), have a calendar pop-up with pre-selected dates/times. 
  8. Add a chat bot to your project’s site page. Answer questions as soon as they pop-up.
  9. Offer floorplans that provide multi-generational living (2 families paying a mortgage are better than one).
  10. Incorporate LiveSite™’s virtual sales centre software. Statistics have shown that homebuyers aren’t shopping for a home during the work day, they’re likely online after your sales centre is closed. Why not extend your sales centre experience—virtually, so that its accessible 24/7/365.
LiveSite™ ‘s state-of-the-art virtual sales centre took the visual marketing industry by storm when it launched earlier this year.  Our talented team of developers tweaked and tinkered with the software application for the past 7 years, evolving it into the indispensable sales tool it is today. Each year, (no different than mobile companies unveiling their latest version), LiveSite™ will continue to evolve, featuring new bells and whistles to satiate client and consumers demand. NEEZO’s mission for LiveSite™ is to always strive to exceed client and end-users’ expectations, by offering a virtually unforgettable user experience.